21 November, 1997

Hi Everyone,

What a busy day!!!!!!  We are still working on permeabilities for Dr.
Albert but we got to visit with her on some of her other projects that are
really neat.   She had dug a pit into the snow and then looked at the
layers of snow that were there.   The pit was between 2.5 and 3 meters
high. She said it was probably only  two to three year s worth of snow.
Inside the pit, you can see layers of snow just like layers of rock along a
highway.    She can identify the snow that has fallen during the winter and
the crust that is on top of the snow here from the wind by the size of the
snow firn.   There is also a layer of hoar frost which is soft and has
large crystals and you can pick out with your finger nail.   Hoar frost is
just frost that lands on everything around here when any moisture in the
air freezes.   Just  like at home.   The only difference is that the frost
here is a lot thicker than at home and it does not melt.  The layers are
really neat.  If there is any light coming through from the otherside of
the wall, the whole thing has different colors of  blue.    Joey Tsai, a
high school student with us, wrote his name in a pit wall and it is
definitely blue.

Dr. Albert is also measuring sustrugi  (snow dunes) heights and what the
wind does to them.   It was fun watching   her place a large board behind
the sustrugi  and measure how far from the top of  the board the snow was.
You could actually see the shape of the snow dune on the board when they
pushed into the ground.   Ill bet that you could do this with a bunch of
sand.   Try building a sand dune with an  odd shape.  Push a piece of
cardboard into the top of your sand dune.   Take a crayon and trace the top
of the sand dune on your cardboard.  See it would look very much like one
of our sustrugi.

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